Sunday, January 27, 2013

New Song from Musician and Fellow Abolitionist Jess Clayton


On Thursday 18th October, UK Anti-Slavery Day, up and coming musician Jess Clayton released her single ‘Voice for the Voiceless’ to raise awareness of modern day slavery and raise funds for The Treehouse Project.

The single was launched at a concert at Freedom Art Studios in front of a packed audience. The evening included performances from Beka Vyce, Red Letter and Jess Clayton. Proceeds from the concert and single downloads have already raised over £1,000 to help survivors of Human Trafficking.

Anti-Slavery Day was created by Act of Parliament in 2010 to raise awareness of modern slavery and to inspire people to eliminate it.
There are currently estimated to be 27 millions slaves in the world, more than at any other time in history. Modern day slaves are exploited for profit in many ways, including sexual exploitation, forced labour, trafficking and domestic servitude.
Human trafficking and exploitation is a growing problem with the UK recognised as a significant transit and destination country for trafficked women and young people. Many of those trafficked are under 18 years of age.

Jess Clayton is a singer-songwriter who is passionate about writing songs to make an impact.
She studied Commercial Music at Bath Spa University but stopped a year short of the full degree as she wanted to just get out in the world and start trying to make a difference.

In 2011 Jess was offered an internship working at the Trauma Recovery Centre (TRC) in Bath; a charity that offers free play therapy and counselling for children who are facing trauma and crisis. There she met Susie (whose real name shall remain unknown). Susie was 20 years old and had three children. She had been sold by her father into slavery at 13 after which time she suffered extreme abuse and exploitation. Susie finally managed to escape aged 19 years old after being assaulted for a final time and nearly losing her children and her life.

Jess says “I had the privilege of working with Susie and being her friend. Working at the TRC with the Treehouse Project tugged on so many of my heart strings, including the musical ones, I couldn’t help but start writing songs about it. These experiences have left me with a particularly strong determination to bring hope and change into the world through my music.

I recorded my single ‘Voice for the Voiceless’ to raise awareness of Human Trafficking. The song is inspired by my involvement with the TRC and working with survivors of human trafficking like Susie. 100% of all sales from the single will be donated to the TRC’s Treehouse Project which provides an aftercare service in the UK for survivors of Human Trafficking”

The TRC launched The Treehouse Project in February 2012. The project focuses on the rehabilitation of children and young people who have been the victims of human trafficking by providing therapeutic aftercare through counselling, befriending, education and accommodation.

‘Voice for the Voiceless’ can still be downloaded from for a donation of just £1, with all proceeds going to The Treehouse Project.

Finally Jess said “Even if you could just turn 27,000,000 slaves into 26,999,999, isn’t it worth it for that one?”


Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Book by Roberta Gately, The Bracelet, Explores Human Trafficking

The Bracelet is a new novel that explores the horrors of human trafficking with the aim of bringing awareness to the subject. Here is are links to buy the book.

I also suggest that if you have the time, and the drive, that you request this book at your local library. Most libraries have a place on their website to request books and authors. A great way to help raise awareness and education about human trafficking is to request more books on the topic for your local libraries. Here is a list of some books I have found helpful.

The Bracelet
By Roberta Gately
Published by Gallery Books
November 6, 2012; $15.00 US/ $17.00 CAN; 9781451669121


Newly heartbroken and searching for purpose in her life, Abby Monroe is determined to make her mark as a UN worker in one of the world's most unstable cities: Peshawar, Pakistan. But after witnessing the brutal murder of a woman thrown from a building, she is haunted by the memory of an intricate and sparkling bracelet that adorned the victim's wrist.
At a local women's shelter, Abby meets former sex slaves who have miraculously escaped their captors. As she gains the girls' trust and documents their horrifying accounts of unspeakable pain and betrayal, she joins forces with a dashing New York Times reporter who believes he can incriminate the shadowy leader of the vicious human trafficking ring. Inspired by the women's remarkable bravery -- and the mysterious reappearance of the bracelet -- the duo traces evidence that spreads from remote villages of South Asia to the most powerful corners of the West, risking their lives to offer a voice to the countless innocents in bondage.

About the Author
Roberta Gately
, author of The Bracelet, has served as a nurse and humanitarian aid worker in war zones ranging from Afghanistan to Africa, about which she wrote a series of articles for the BBC World News Online. She is also the author of the novel Lipstick in Afghanistan.
For more information please visit, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter


"Roberta Gately uses her experiences working with refugees and traveling in the Middle East to take readers on a thrilling, highly visual trip into the world of human trafficking in Pakistan. The Bracelet is a pleasure from page one, and hard to put down until the very last page."
-- Jennifer Haupt, author of I'll Stand by You: One Woman's Mission to Heal the Children of the World

"Gately is very effective at covering the complexity of human trafficking in a straightforward and easy to read style that just keeps you turning the pages to find out what happens next . . . In addition to the great human interest stories within the story, there are enough surprising twists and revelations to make for a captivating and suspenseful read!"
-- Audrey Lawrence, Fresh Fiction

"Gately, a nurse and humanitarian worker, has a keen understanding of conflict zones and human trafficking, and the resultant detail is vibrantly deployed throughout her newest novel (after
Lipstick in Afghanistan)." 
-- Publisher's Weekly

"Gately's thought-provoking insights in The Bracelet deliver a clear message of her compassionate view of the subject matter. Gatley has hands-down passed the age-old litmus test of an accomplished writer in that, a writer writes what a writer knows -- without question, Ms. Gately knew her topic and therefore, she wrote a fantastic book. Quill Says: Current topic equals great read!
-- Feathered Quill Book Reviews

Monday, January 21, 2013

Great posts by MSN on Human Trafficking

To see all of the posts, photos and snippets, click here.  There are Q&A's with celebrities and NGO's, videos, quizzes and more.

Below are some of the visual displays that really stood out to me.

This is a preview for the documentary Rape for Profit.
Rape for Profit is a documentary in theaters now about the underage sex slavery problem in Seattle made vivid through interviews with law enforcement and non-profit organizations on the front lines.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Meet Jaiya

Jiaya never imagined that accepting a job offer would change her life. Shortly after her arrival in Texas, Jiaya was simply glad to have found a job and spent spent several days washing linens.  

However, when her employer learned she did not have any immigration documents, Jiaya was taken to a nearby apartment and stripped of her clothes, given lingerie and told that she would now be working as a prostitute. 

When Jiaya refused, she was beaten severely and deprived of food for several days. She was never allowed out of the small apartment - customers were brought to her. One month after her arrival, a police raid occurred, and Jiaya was identified as a victim of human trafficking.

Jiaya was immediately brought to Mosaic House, where she received food and clothing as well as shelter. Meeting with a case manager that spoke her language as well as Mosaic's attorneys and counselors helped Jiaya gain the confidence she needed to begin building her life anew. Jiaya has now moved out of Mosaic House and has found a job of her own choice.

*Name changed for safety
Jiaya's story of resilience would not be possible without supporters like you. 
Get involved in the fight against human trafficking to help others escape exploitation. Today, January 11, is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Make a commitment today to get involved in the fight against modern day slavery.

Volunteer your time at Mosaic by teaching a class or helping with street outreach, or donate basic necessitiesfor our shelter such as cleaning supplies or hygiene items. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: 149 rescued from a life of slavery in India

Here is an email I received from IJM this week.  I love hearing about success stories like these.

Dear John,
Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and we are celebrating freedom. Just this week in India, 149 children, women and men have been freed from a life of slavery.
When our partner Jana Jagriti Kendrafirst called us about the case, they believed three families were enslaved in the brick kiln. So we were all shocked to find more than ten times as manyfamilies trapped there.
The momentum is building, and we’re helping transform entire systems to bring more rescue. A few days ago, the Indian government asked IJM to train local police officers on how to combat slavery throughout a whole state – that’s more than 12,000 police officers. Fighting slavery has never before been part of the state’s official training. These local police are the critical first-responders, and now they will be equipped with the knowledge they need to stop slavery in their communities. It’s a huge step forward.
We know the problem of slavery is massive, but we are seeing rescue and change happen on a bigger scale than ever before.
Thank you for celebrating freedom with us at the start of this new year. We can’t wait to bring freedom to more families and help transform the systems that protect entire communities.
EMAIL - SMathew Signature Transparent
Saju Mathew
Director of Operations, South Asia
P.S. Read more about this week’s rescue operation that freed dozens of slaves – including one girl who was only 3 years old.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lisa Kristine: Photos that bear witness to modern slavery

This 20 minute TED Talk, with photographer Lisa Kristine, is a summary of the two years she spent documenting modern slavery around the world.


For the past two years, photographer Lisa Kristine has traveled the world, documenting the unbearably harsh realities of modern-day slavery. She shares hauntingly beautiful images -- miners in the Congo, brick layers in Nepal -- illuminating the plight of the 27 million souls enslaved worldwide. (Filmed at TEDxMaui)


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Child sex abuse: Operation Sunflower Results in 245 Arrests of Predators and Traffickers

The same day this week that Immigration and Customs Enforcement  announced the arrests of 245 people accused of exploiting and abusing children, a tip alerted authorities to arrest one more suspect: a woman in Los Angeles whom law enforcement had identified in photos posted online that allegedly show her sexually molesting a girl thought to be 13 years old. The photos date back to 2001 and were discovered by ICE field agents in Chicago in 2007.

Such is the complex effort that goes into pursuing online sexual predators who rely on computer technology to produce and distribute images of their abuse and are becoming more adept at hiding their identities.
Concentrated over a five-week period in November and early December, Operation Sunflower was a “surge operation” in which agents were encouraged to “really get down and look at who is in those photos,” says Danielle Bennett, a spokeswoman for ICE in Washington. The increased effort resulted in finding 123 victims. Of that total, 44 were found living with their abusers and subsequently were removed from the homes. The others were exploited outside their own homes or are now adults.
Law enforcement officials at the federal, state, and local levels have been turning to what they call “forensic technology” to track and identify both predators and their victims. The effort to focus on minute details of photos or videos and rely on global databases to establish trends or locations has yielded more arrests. The number of child predators arrested by ICE last year totaled 1,655, a record number for the agency and an 81 percent increase from 2010.
In Operation Sunflower, whose results were announced Thursday, the majority of the victims were female, and most victims were between 13 and 15 years old. However, five victims were under the age of 3, and 30 were between 4 and 9 years old.

The majority of suspects were arrested in the United States, but 23 were arrested abroad. The states with the most arrests were California (37), Texas (29), New York (19), Florida (17), and New Mexico (11). States with destination theme parks and family-friendly attractions tend to be targets of predators because they usher through a high volume of children each year.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Congress fails to pass the TVPRA, but we have hope

On Thursday, the 112th Congress ended without passing the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). This law—originally passed in 2000 and reauthorized by Congress unanimously three separate times—is our nation’s foundation for the fight against human trafficking at home and around the world. The bill could have passed at the close of the year through a process called "unanimous consent," (in which representatives signal their support for a bill without a formal vote), but three senators placed anonymous "holds" on the bill, preventing it from moving forward.
We are saddened and disappointed that Congress did not prioritize the needs of those in bondage by passing this critical bill, compromising U.S. leadership in the fight against slavery even as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Despite this setback, we are hopeful: Every phone call, email, meeting, letter to the editor, and one-on-one conversation in support of the TVPRA you had last year made a difference. None of your effort was wasted, and we are tremendously grateful for your partnership and friendship in this fight.
Because of the support of people like you, anti-slavery advocates secured nearly 60 Senate co-sponsors on the TVPRA in 2012. During a time when Congress agreed on very little, you communicated that ending slavery is an issue that all Americans can agree on. Though the TVPRA must be reintroduced in the new Congress, your help in building such strong support for the bill last year gives us a strong foundation for 2013. We will work to see the bill passed early in this new year.
Yours in hope,
Eileen Campbell
Director of Advocacy International Justice Mission

For ways you can take action now, visit